The Foxhole in Wilton: Two goals in mind

The American Legion Post 86 in Wilton, recently held its Installation of Officers ceremony at the Post, at the town's 112 Old Ridgefield Road. Pictured from the left to right are Post 86 officers: Commander Paul Niche, Senior Vice Commander, and Adjutant Tom Moore, Jr., Vice Commander Alex Ruskewich, Finance Officer Sean McNeill, Chaplain Frank Dunn, Judge Advocate Don Hazzard, Sergeant at Arms Jeff Turner, and Service Officer Bob Mecozzi. Moore, Jr., writes this regular column about becoming a member of the Post.

The American Legion Post 86 in Wilton, recently held its Installation of Officers ceremony at the Post, at the town’s 112 Old Ridgefield Road. Pictured from the left to right are Post 86 officers: Commander Paul Niche, Senior Vice Commander, and Adjutant Tom Moore, Jr., Vice Commander Alex Ruskewich, Finance Officer Sean McNeill, Chaplain Frank Dunn, Judge Advocate Don Hazzard, Sergeant at Arms Jeff Turner, and Service Officer Bob Mecozzi. Moore, Jr., writes this regular column about becoming a member of the Post.

Contributed photo

One of the Four Pillars of The American Legion is Veteran’s Affairs and Rehabilitation. In essence, we support and aid all veterans who have served in our nation’s military, in several different ways, with many programs. From assisting a veteran with submitting a claim to the Veterans Administration for disability benefits, to programs such as Operation Comfort Warriors to female veteran specific assistance, we are here for you, the veteran.

A primary reason that I became attracted to the Legion is that in return for all these support systems, we ask for absolutely nothing. A membership is not even required to approach us for help. One of the lines a Legionnaire recites when we open a meeting with The American Legion’s Preamble, which is “…to consecrate and sanctify our devotion, to mutual helpfulness.” This is the final line in the Preamble and speaks volumes as to who we are and outlines one of our primary missions.

I am proud to be a member of this, America’s oldest and largest wartime veteran’s organizations. We ask for nothing and in turn do all that is in our power. That is why I am writing this today with two goals in mind: first to reach out to all veterans, their family and friends. Have the veteran contact us here at Post 86. We would be happy to add you as a member of Post 86. All you need is at least one day of active duty, a discharge under honorable conditions, a DD214 (or similar document) and $35 for our annual dues.

The second goal, whether you are a member, or whether you wish to join or not, please reach out to us if you are in need of any kind of assistance. Whether help with a VA claim or potential claim, financial assistance, or you merely wish to talk to a fellow vet, again, please reach out.

As a member, we would love for you to come to our meetings, to see and hear what we are doing. We meet at the Post (112 Old Ridgefield Road next to the Village Market) on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. Another reason for joining is you become one of almost two million Legionnaires supporting our nation’s military, veterans, children and families, our communities. We also work with Congress to pass legislation that help our military and veterans, and their families. We were instrumental in creating the US Veterans Bureau, which later became the Veterans Administration. A past National Commander virtually wrote the first GI Bill in 1944 in longhand, signed by President Roosevelt.

Recently, we were a part of the effort to create the laws that recognized Agent Orange for veterans, including the Blue Water Navy, suffering from the after-effects of this toxic chemical. We are required to report to Congress each year. With increased numbers, we are a more effective force for our veterans. We hope to see you soon!